DRA’s $1.6M Investment through Delta Workforce Grant Program Includes Three Tennessee Initiatives

November 30, 2020

CLARKSDALE, MS – Today, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced a $1,687,013 investment into 13 programs within the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions through the Delta Workforce Grant Program (DWP).  The investment includes three Tennessee awardees:  ProGeny Place, Rural Health Association of Tennessee, and theCo.  DWP supports programs and initiatives that expand job training and re-employment opportunities, align workforce and economic development strategies, create sustainable talent pipelines, establish or enhance locally/regionally significant public-private partnerships, and support enhanced workforce productivity through innovative programming.

“As our economy continues to recover in Tennessee, it is important to create ecosystems that support industry-driven workforce development,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell.  “ProGeny Place, Rural Health Association of Tennessee, and theCo all demonstrated a commitment to building a skilled workforce in Tennessee by collaborating with industry partners to develop innovative strategies that will ultimately strengthen the region’s economic outlook.”

DRA invested a total of $328,270 into the following three Tennessee programs:

ProGeny Place | Memphis, TN: ProGeny Place, in coordination with The GradUS Project, will use DRA funding to enroll domestic violence victims into a newly designed, four-week Food-Based Manufacturing and Distribution industry certification program at Southwest Tennessee Community College.  The investment is projected to train 20 individuals. 
DRA Investment: $102,410

Rural Health Association of Tennessee | Decaturville, TN: The Rural Health Association of Tennessee will use DRA funding to create a “pre-apprenticeship” program for nursing assistants and nursing aids designed to help alleviate the regional nursing shortage.  The investment is projected to train up to 500 individuals.
DRA Investment: $149,060

theCO | Jackson, TN: theCO will use DRA funding to launch the Dev Catalyst Alumni Program, which will support workforce readiness training, develop a portfolio showcase, establish a peer mentorship network, and bridge connections to regional job and internship opportunities in computer science, web development, and data management.  The investment is projected to train up to 1,800 individuals.
DRA Investment: $76,800

Grants ranging from $76,800 to $150,000 were awarded to industry-driven workforce development programs and initiatives in six DRA states.  Eligible applicants demonstrated at least one employer partner seeking to hire more skilled workers in a high-demand industry sector and will aid communities particularly hard hit by industrial downsizing, business closures, and job losses as a result of the public health and economic crisis.  

To complement this funding opportunity, DRA will offer grantees post-award technical assistance to ensure projects are effectively and sustainably implemented.  

Additional information about DWP, including important dates and resources, is available at www.dra.gov/workforce.

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About the Delta Regional Authority
The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt.  DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, workforce training, and business development.  DRA’s mission is to help create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of those who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state region.

DRA Media Contact:
Shawna Blair
Director of Communications and Public Engagement
202-515-1354
sblair@dra.gov